THE PLAYERS CENTRE’S 88TH SEASON DEMONSTRATES “THE ART OF MAKING ART”
By Amanda Heisey
Big things are starting to happen for The Players Centre for Performing Arts. Along with raising money to build a bigger facility in Lakewood Ranch, the new Arnold Simonsen Players Studio location on Boulevard of the Arts will open its doors in September allowing for more classes and students to benefit from a performing arts education. This upcoming season marks the 88th birthday of the organization and it is celebrating with some BIG name shows. The 2017-18 Broadway Series is all about, “The Art of Making Art.” Each show this season has a story line that revolves around putting on a show. There’s more that goes into putting on a musical or play than meets the eye, and this year’s productions let audiences take a peek behind the scenes.
Rounding out the fall series is The 1940’s Radio Hour running from Dec. 7 through 23. Just in time for the holiday season comes this marvelously theatrical show! This lively and Big Band sounding musical delivers a delicious slice of ‘a live radio broadcast from NYC’ in December of 1942. Enjoy the spirit of that bygone era when the world was at war and pop music meant “Strike Up the Band” and “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.”
Kicking off the New Year, The Players will present the beloved musical Singin’ in the Rain from Jan. 18 to Feb. 4. Set in Hollywood in the days of the silent screen, comes the mega-hit musical based on the 1952 classic film “Singin’ in the Rain”. Escape to a different time with Don Lockwood, Cosmo Brown and Kathy Selden who will have you singing right along with this amazing score.
Running from Feb. 22 through March 11, The Players will present the regional premiere of Woody Allen’s Bullets Over Broadway. Loaded with big laughs, colorful characters and the songs that made the ’20s roar, this show brings musical comedy back with a bang! Based on the screenplay of the acclaimed 1994 film, this musical is a love letter to the Golden Age of Broadway. A straight-arrow playwright plans to stand firm against compromising his work but quickly abandons that stance when his producer finds a backer to mount his show on Broadway.
The last show of the Broadway Series is the delightful Funny Girl running from March 29 to April 15. Fanny Brice is a nobody who dreams of being famous and through sheer guts and determination, fulfills her dream and becomes a star of the Ziegfeld Follies. Set in New York City just prior to and following World War I, it’s the songs and story that generations have grown to love including: “People,” “I’m the Greatest Star” and “Don’t Rain on My Parade.”
If you want to learn more about the theatre and get an even closer look at how things are done, take advantage of our “Glimpse Behind the Curtain” the third Thursday of every month starting at 10:30am completely free of charge. This could be a great outing for clubs or groups! Call the box office at 941-365-2494 to reserve space or visit our website at theplayers.org.